Vice Enforcer, the second book in S.A. Stovall’s thriller and M/M romance series is now here! The series began with Vice City, which I wrote about here. That book went received the Rainbow Award's Honorable Mention. Congratulations, S.A. Stovall!
We are back with Nicholas Pierce, ex-mob enforcer, who eight months ago faked his death and assumed a new identity to escape sadistic mob boss Jeremy Vice. With no contacts outside the underworld, Pierce finds work with a washed-up PI. It’s an easy enough gig—until investigating a human trafficking ring drags him back to his old stomping grounds.
Miles Devonport, Pierce’s partner, is top of his class at the police academy while single-handedly holding his family together. But when one lieutenant questions Pierce’s past and his involvement in the investigation, Miles must put his future on the line to keep Pierce’s secrets.
The situation becomes dire when it’s discovered the traffickers have connections to the Vice family. The lives of everyone Pierce cares about are in danger—not least of all his own, if Jeremy Vice learns he’s back from the dead. Pierce and Miles face a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels—one that will gladly destroy them to keep operating. As Pierce uses every dirty trick he learned from organized crime to protect the new life he’s building, he realizes that no matter how hard he tries, he might never escape his past.
But he’s not going down without a fight.
A lot of crime happens around railroad tracks.
I’ve seen it a million times—from drug deals to gangbangers smuggling guns—which is why I get nervous when I step out of the car and spot the North Union Rail Yard off in the distance. There are entirely too many shadows moving between parked boxcars for 2:00 a.m. in the goddamn morning. No one should be here at this time of the day, at least not at this particular ramshackle rail yard.
My gut tells me I’m gonna regret snoopin’ around.
“Stay close, boys,” Shelby says. “And keep your voices down.”
Shelby grunts as he pulls himself out of his tiny four-door Dodge Neon. He’s old, perhaps in his late fifties, but not so old that getting out of a vehicle should be a struggle. The way he takes in ragged breaths betrays a chronic problem. I’m guessing emphysema, given how much the man smokes, but I’ve never asked. I have my own lung problems to worry about.
Davis rubs his hands together and slams the back door shut with a quick tap of his hip. The loud bang of the car door travels out into the empty night sky. A pair of crows flies off toward the moon.
“Goddammit, Davis,” Shelby hisses. “What did I just say? Keep it down!”
“I am, but it’s freakin’ freezing,” Davis replies with a warble and whine to his tone that eliminates all patience. I swear his voice assaults the tranquility of the night with each raspy syllable he chokes out his mouth. If we aren’t caught within the next ten minutes, it’ll be a miracle.
Shelby walks around to the trunk of his car and pops it open. “Pierce,” he says, staring at me with a harsh look of seriousness. “Get over here.”
I walk over, pulling my jacket close. It is rather cold.
“What is it?” I ask.
“Do you know how to handle a gun?”
I stifle a laugh. “Yeah, old man. I know how to handle a gun.”
“Good. I’m gonna need you to cover me.”
Shelby rummages through the contents of the trunk. After a moment he withdraws a pair of handguns—two .50 caliber Desert Eagles. They’ve only got a seven round capacity, but they have a lot of stopping power. No man ignores a bullet from a gun like that.
I take the weapon and check the magazine. The handgun is loaded and ready to go. Not the safest way to store the thing, but I don’t have any room to talk. I keep a fully loaded handgun under my mattress at all times.
“This is in nice condition,” I say, turning the heavy gun over in my hands. “You don’t use it often.”
“As it should be,” Shelby says with a grunt. “But tonight is different. Tonight you earn your wings.”
Davis flounces over and motions to the handguns. “What about me? I don’t get one?”
“I’ve got two guns. That’s it. You’ve got the camera, don’tcha? You’ll be taking the pictures.”
I wouldn’t trust Davis with a can opener, but Shelby is the one in charge. Davis and I are here for the experience—to get our hours marked off on our time cards—and to learn from an active private investigator so that we can qualify for our own licenses. Shelby was the only PI who would take me due to my questionable background, and I assume that’s the same story with Davis, though I’ve never asked. I try to avoid talking to the other man as much as possible.
“Do you think we’re gonna run into trouble?” Davis asks, his gaze flitting around in frantic motions.
“We might,” Shelby replies.
- “To say the characterization was good would be like saying I love reading. It’s a gross understatement… Overall, I loved every inch of it.” – Divine Magazine
- “The noir setting absolutely gripped me with stark details. As a lover of crime fiction, I highly recommend this book in what will hopefully be a very long and satisfying series.” – The Novel Approach Reviews
S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.
As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.
CONTACT S.A. STOVALL
- Twitter: @GameOverStation
- Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/
FEARLESS BLOGGER TOUR
This blog is part of a tour organized by the International Thriller Writer's Association FEARLESS BLOGGER tour. The Fearless Bloggers were created by Alison McMahan to help new thriller writers who were members of ITW promote their work. Blogs are written about new thrillers by thriller writers. All work is done on a volunteer basis. Other blogs in this tour include: